I am a really bad witness for this sort of thing and not just for MMOs either. I've been told (by another grumpy fiftysomething) that I'm extremely atypical for my age because I think modern music is every bit as good as the stuff I grew up with and because I think the writing in young adult novels in the 21st century doesn't just stand up to anything I was reading when I was "that age" but gives most contemporary adult fiction more than a run for its money and basically because I think doors are opening not closing most of the time.
It's odd. I would never have painted my own portrait with my glass half full. I'd have thought I was no-one's vision of an optimist. It was only about fifteen years ago that I finally stopped describing myself as a nihilist (I must post the free verse nihilist manifesto I wrote when I was seventeen or so sometime - it's only six pages of A4 and it has tigers).
I'm still not sure that tearing everything down and starting over's such a bad idea. It's more that I'm getting too old to relish the inconvenience the way I once would have done. Still, somehow I seem to have ended up on the kittens and rainbows bench and I never saw that coming. I guess the culture has just moved past me when it comes to cynicism and black despair.
So, if you ask me when the Golden Age of MMOs was I might as easily say "tomorrow" as anything else. And today's looking pretty golden too.
I'm sitting here freestyling this, listening to the blandly-named but rather chunky Rah Rah, one of the flurry of Canadian, Indonesian or Korean indie bands the wonderful world of YouTube has opened for me these last few days, as I eagerly anticipate the arrival of GW2's fourth episode of Living Story 3, "The Head of the Snake".
There's something about Canadian indie that seems almost unbearably sweet. I love all the home-made videos set in the woods or in small towns that don't look quite of this world. It reminds me of Northern Exposure and yes I know that was Alaska, even if most of it was filmed in Washington State. It's all Northern, innit?
Where was I? Oh yes, GW2. So, apparently Divinity's Reach is next in line for the Lion's Arch treatment. Is there any MMO developer so blase about trashing its own best work as ArenaNet? They do seem to take a positive joy in self-destruction.
We'll know in a few hours whether those siege engines are really going to wreck one of the most perfectly-realized cities in MMOdom. My money's on not. Either way, that video got my pulse racing, which was, I guess, the intention.
I was also sufficiently motivated by the news that the promised housing update for The Elder Scrolls Online has gone live to go ferreting among my loose hard drives looking for where I had the thing installed. I had three hard drives in my old PC but when I replaced it last spring I took them all out and stacked them by the bookcase.
Seems ESO isn't on any of them. Nor is it on either of my two USB portable drives. Nor my 64GB USB stick that I use to take the MMOs on holiday that I never play. I have no idea where it is. It must be somewhere because I almost never uninstall MMOs. I just buy more drives. I still have two full installations of Landmark. I think I even have Zentia somewhere "just in case"...
If I can't find it, and it looks as though I can't, then I suppose I'll have to download the entire thing again. It's not something I want to do because MMOs these days are huge. Also, as I was discussing in the comments over at Going Commando, I might want to download SW:tOR sooner rather than later and I bet that thing has a footprint like a yeti.
SW:tOR is one of a short list of MMOs I don't particularly want to play but feel I probably should just for completeness sake. Aion's another. And EVE of course. It's always easy to keep shoving them to the back of the list because I don't actually want to play any of them, I just think I probably should. Space settings don't appeal to me much and there was something about Aion that just put me off right at the start. I think it was the colors. Or maybe the name.
EVE going F2P means I really don't have much of an excuse not to try it eventually but equally it means there's no urgency. SW:tOR is arguably a more urgent case since BioWare, these days one of my less-loved developers although I can't really put a finger on what they might have done to offend me, upped the ante with a two-month xp blitz and not any old double xp either but a 250% ramp.
Paradoxically, as someone who professes to prefer low levels and slow leveling, I'm a real sucker for accelerated xp. It pushes all my bargain-hunter buttons, makes me feel I'm getting something for nothing, even though what I'm likely getting is rushed through content I'd enjoy more if I took it slower. Oh well, a rational consumer I'm not.
For an MMO I don't especially want to play anyway, though, I guess it does make some kind of backwards sense. If I don't like it it would be over faster and if I do I can stop and come back later when the foot comes off the pedal.
Let's be realistic here. I don't have time for ESO or SW:tOR. I added Legion to my WoW account three months ago and any window of free time that opens up between now and the next GW2 expansion (where IS that, anyway??) is penciled in for Azeroth.
I'm about finished up on the last EQ2 expansion at least as far as my Berserker goes. The main story's all done and he's nicely geared for solo. Next comes the gear grind to upgrade everything, the spell grind, the faction grind, all that good stuff that keeps people subbed 'til next time. I can skip that.
There's a level 100 Inquisitor and Necromancer to take through the story though. I might chip away at them over the coming months. And there will be a new "Race to..." server soon, I'm sure. Always something going on in Norrath. No urgency right now though.
The Revelation Online beta got extended by a week but I've not played any more. I like it but not enough to whittle away on characters that won't be around in a month or two. I'll get back to it when the launch comes, which can't be long. Then forget it in a matter of weeks and never play again.
So fickle. But there's just so much to choose from and so much of it's so interesting.
Here's a little list of the MMOs I want to be playing enough to think about them but not enough to, y'know, log in:
Dragon Nest Oracle
Blade & Soul
And those are just the one I have installed on my main drive.
I patched up Rift yesterday. Been a while. And going to be a while longer, I fear. After a 3Gb download I logged in to find my character in freefall between the above-the-sky and below-the-world on an infinite loop. Nothing would stop it, not even the /stuck command. I even joined an Instant Adventure, as recommended for stuck players in the in-game tips, and was able to complete quests and gain xp all from an entirely different zone while still falling. Trion: leading developers of the idle MMO.
Dragomon Hunter also eludes me since I lost my log-in and password. It's from Aeria Games who also publish Twin Saga, which I have downloaded but have yet to try because I wanted to use the same details. I guess I should make a new I.D. and start both from scratch but I'm not sure I want to play either of them that much.
Anyhooo... that killed an hour while I wait for the GW2 content patch to drop. Not that we're content-starved in Tyria you understand. (Where's that frickin' second xpack???).
If I ever actually get any of these games updated and get around to playing them I'll maybe have something to say about it. Meanwhile, have another from Rah Rah. No, thank you - for getting this far.